Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I walked out of my bedroom. I couldn’t hear anything, but I knew Emily was still here.
There was a light coming from the kitchen, so I headed towards it. I found Emily sitting at the dining table eating a bowl of cereal, wearing the same t-shirt I’d been wearing last night. She looked up at me and smiled. “I would have made you something, but I didn’t know when you would be up.”
I shrugged, sitting down beside her. “It’s not big deal.” I grabbed at the shirt. “Nice shirt, by the way.”
“Well, I didn’t have any clothes.” She took another bite of cereal.”Actually, I was waiting for you to get up so I could go back to my house. Just to get some clothes.”
I nodded, grabbing the spoon from her hand and eating some cereal. “Yeah, I’ll come with you.”
She chuckled. “Alright, but first I’m going to need some pants.”
A few hours later, we were on our way to her house. I’d given her a pair of jeans that were too small for me, and one of my clean t-shirts. It was huge on her, but she didn’t seem to mind.
It only took about ten minutes for us to get to her house. To be honest, I was really surprised at the neighborhood she lived in. I always pictured her as living in luxury, but this was the exact opposite. This place was pretty much the ghetto. Down to the graffiti and gang signs. I couldn’t believe a girl like Emily would live in a place like this.
She parked the car in the driveway and we climbed out, neither of us saying a word. When we reached the front door, instead of reaching for a house key, she knocked on the door. It was a little strange to me that she would knock rather than just unlock the door herself. But I didn’t say anything. This was her house. Maybe she lived with someone.
We stood on the porch in silence for a few minutes before the door opened. As soon as I saw who was on the other side of the door, I almost turned around and ran. Of all the people in the world who could have been behind the door, it was him.
Bert. And standing in the distance... was Frank.
None of this made sense.
Before I had a chance to react, both Emily and Bert grabbed my arms and pulled me inside. The door slammed shut behind me. It had been a long time since I’d been this confused. How did Emily know Bert? Why was Frank here? Had he been here the whole time?
It was obvious, though. This whole thing was Bert’s doing. Frank’s kidnapping was no random act. It was Bert. But why? And what about Emily.
Bert turned to face Emily, a smile on his face. “Ems! What the hell are you doing? This isn’t what we discussed, sis...”
Sis? No. That couldn’t be right. Bert didn’t have any siblings. At least, I never remembered him saying anything about that. But looking at them together, the resemblance was unmistakable. I couldn’t believe I’d missed it before.
Emily and Bert were arguing but I couldn’t focus on anything they were saying. I was focused on Frank. I was expecting him to look beaten, or something. The Frank standing in front of me looked the same as he did when I’d last seen him.
Oh my god, Frankie. What have I done? This is all my fault.
“Gerard...?” Frank’s voice was shaky. I could see tears forming in his eyes. He was obviously thinking the worst. I mean, why else would I show up here with a woman unless I was sleeping with her and trusted her completely.
He shook his head. “I can’t believe this. I didn’t want to believe it... but it’s true then? You really are cheating on me.”
Emily laughed, “Of course he’s cheating on you. That’s what I said.”
Bert turned around, facing Frank. “Frank--”
Frank’s eyes dried suddenly. “Jesus Christ, Bert! Stop! Stop trying to be the nice guy! You’re the one that put Emily in Gerard’s life. He would have never cheated if she wasn’t around. I mean look at her, she’s a fucking whore!” Emily’s face hardened, but she didn’t say anything. no one did. “And Gerard, just because it’s Bert’s fault this happened, doesn’t mean it was okay for you to sleep with her!”
The tears were back in his eyes as he glanced between the both of us. He opened his mouth to speak, but never got the chance.
“Bert! Why are you so upset?” Emily shouted. I hadn’t even noticed the tears running down Bert’s cheeks. Was he really crying because of what happened? Of course not, he wasn’t capable of that, not anymore. “I thought this was what you wanted!”
He shook his head, “Not anymore. I can’t do this anymore, Ems. I’m tired of ruining everyone’s lives.” He turned to me. “Gerard... I’m so sorry. About everything. I should have said no when you offered me those drugs. Then I wouldn’t be such a fuck up.”
He turned to Frank, “And Frank. I never expected to have any kind of feelings for you, yet here I stand. And now you hate me. I don’t blame you.” He looked down at the floor. “I’m a terrible person, and I don’t deserve anyone. All I deserve is your hatred.”
Frank stepped closer to Bert, “Don’t say that. You made mistakes, and yeah, I kind of hate you for them. But that’s because you ruined my life! You tried to take Gerard away from me, in as many ways as you possibly could. That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be loved.”
Without another word, Frank ran towards me and wrapped his arms tightly around my waist. “Gerard, I still hate you for what you did, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop loving you. You may have made mistakes, terrible mistakes, but you’re still my husband.”
I couldn’t help but notice Emily roll her eyes. “For better or worse. I know, Frankie. I’m so fucking sorry.” Forgetting that Bert was in the room, forgetting everything I had said to Emily, and everything she’d said to me, I kissed Frank with all the passion I could muster.